We all know that guest posting is one of the best ways to get highly targeted traffic to your website. Everyone makes it sound so easy too: write a killer post, deliver it to a fellow blogger in your niche, and then BAM…instant traffic, and some new subscribers to boot.
Although I wholeheartedly believe that guest posting is a tactic that delivers exactly the traffic that you need, and one that you should definitely attempt several times throughout the life of your growing site, the truth is that it's not always as easy as it sounds.
Because the author of the blog you are targeting has the option to reject your guest post request. It could be for any number of reasons, many of which are beyond your control.
There is, however, a strategy that I've noticed being used on a number of blogs lately that is working wonders—driving large amount of traffic, earning tons of retweets and landing tons of new subscribers. It's a strategy that I wish I knew when I was just starting out, and the best part is that it's a post that you publish on your own blog, so there's no need to worry about rejection.
A list post that features some of the top and up & coming players in your niche.
It does take some extra effort to find the top and up & coming players in your niche, gather all of the relevant information and really put together a killer post, but the results can be quite fruitful for you and your blog.
Why Does this Work?
There are several reasons why this strategy works:
- Everyone appreciates being featured on another blog. Some (not all) will actually spend time to actually read the post and leave a “thanks for the mention” comment as well. This is an easy and friendly way to connect & network with others.
- Often times, the people you feature (especially the up & coming ones), love the free press so much that they want to share it with as many people as possible. This is why it's important to make sharing easy on your blog by including all of the necessary retweet, like, stumbleupon, and digg buttons, etc.
- These posts are actually very useful. Anyone who is interested in your niche would love to have a list of the top players and get to know everyone and their importance to the industry.
A fine example of this strategy being put to use recently can be seen on Jade Craven's post at TheNetsetter.com, 50 Netsetters You Should Know About.
Take notice of how many comments were made, as well as how many of those comments were actually from people featured in that article. Also, although it doesn't say on the blog itself, bit.ly tells me that this post has been retweeted 458 times (as of about 24 hours after it's post). That's a lot of reach, and I guarantee you that many of those retweets came from people featured in that post as well. Just imagine how many followers total those 50 people have on Twitter alone.
Taking it to the Next Level
As with most things in life, there's the standard way of writing these posts, and then there's the “next level” way.
The standard way is to simply create a list of people and write a short paragraph about each—or, if your post is about a particular subject matter within your niche, you may write about how each of the people you are featuring have made an impact in regards to that.
The “next level” way is wonderfully demonstrated by my friend Corbett Bar from ThinkTraffic.net. [Editor's Note: Corbett no longer runs the ThinkTraffic.net site. You can find him at corbettbarr.com.] In his posts, 10 Blogs with Explosive Growth to Learn From and also 17 Traffic Building Tips From Some of the World's Most Popular Bloggers, he not only includes a list of featured bloggers and a short paragraph about each, but he also includes an actual quote from each blogger as well. Having a quote from each of the people does a few extra things for Corbett:
- It increases the social proof of the post.
- It increases the chances of the article being shared to even more people. Because Corbett took the time to first contact each of the people, and then follow up after the post was written (I know he did this because The Smart Passive Income Blog had the honor of being included in these posts…thanks Corbett!), the authors are less likely to just pass over the post, and will most likely share it with others. If not through retweets and sharing on Facebook, then by posts such as the one I am writing now.
- And most importantly, it takes the networking aspect of these posts to a whole new level. Corbett contacted me personally to ask for a quotation for both of these articles, and because of that I know exactly who he is, what his blog is about, and that it's totally awesome. In the future, I'm sure Corbett and I could possibly work together on something, or exchange guest posts, or whatever—because of the trust I now have for him and his blog—all of which came from the initial contact and the quality of his post.
If you take a look at the archives on ThinkTraffic.net, you'll see that each of the posts before the 17 Traffic Building Tips article average 2 to 4 comments, and the same amount of retweets. Well, after posting this post, he earned 69 comments, and 145 retweets.
Yes, you will have to work a little harder to first contact each of the people you'd like to feature, but usually they are happy to spend 2-3 minutes to contribute a quote for you. Not all will respond, but the ones that do will be great contacts to have in the future, ones that can possibly help add to the rapid growth and expansion of your site.
So if guest posting just isn't working out for you (or even if it is), give this alternative traffic building method a shot.